"Today, we’re working with big and small partners in over 30 countries, impacting the lives of 100,000 young people a year. Salesforce plays an important part in that." - Chris Barkley, GRS Director of Research.

Grassroot Soccer Impacts 100,000 Young People a Year with Salesforce

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is an adolescent health organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to overcome their greatest health challenges and live healthier, more productive lives.

“In 2009, when we started using Salesforce we had 25 employees and reached 4,000 adolescents per year. Today, we’re working with big and small partners in over 30 countries, impacting the lives of 100,000 young people a year. Salesforce plays an important part in that,” says Chris Barkley, GRS Director of Research.

GRS always valued data as a source of learning and improvement, however, before working with Salesforce, struggled to cope with the amount of data they had. Having outgrown paper files and Excel spreadsheets, they knew they needed a database that would scale with the organisation.

“We were entering a growth phase, and needed our program data in one central place. That’s when we discovered Salesforce and decided to kickstart our journey with what is now our SKILLZ Scoreboard,” shares Barkley.

Making and Managing Data

In order to contribute to meaningful change, the team at Grassroot Soccer spends a tremendous amount of energy figuring out how to develop positive and powerful interactions between teenagers and mentors (coaches). They do this by asking questions like: who is attending the programs? What are they learning? Are they translating what they learn into action? Do those actions benefit their health? What role do the coaches play in these changes?

“The team found that across schools and communities, girls in grade 9 (secondary school) had a much higher dropout rate from the program than grade 7 (primary school) girls. After talking with participants we realised that our content wasn’t resonating as well and worked with program participants to improve it.”

GRS then started to add more layers of data from the schools and other community stakeholders.

“Using Visualforce pages we’re enabling partners to enter data themselves, giving them more ownership of the data,” says Barkley. “Today, our partners and internal teams are able to collect a range of data points from our programs – and this gets entered directly from community staff and partners.”

Partners now have their own customised data entry portal called the Data Stadium.

“We really see the benefits of Data Stadium through our partnership with Peace Corps. It means that volunteers in over 20 countries can efficiently enter data and that Peace Corps can see data in near real-time, even in remote communities around the world.”

GRS is working towards a more holistic approach to reporting and impact that focuses on engagement across sectors. Salesforce’s flexibility and responsiveness makes doing this easy!

 “We need to understand our work within broader contexts and one way to do that is through data. Salesforce helps us better understand the communities in which we work, helps us prioritize where we work and who we work with,” says Barkley.

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